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When the Holidays have you feeling like you could rip your hair out and hide under the covers until it’s all over, know that I feel your pain. It’s that time of year filled with joy, love, cookies, chocolate, wine, and loads of shopping. Sounds incredible, right? Like heaven. Everything is sparkly and covered in white.

Well then, why is it always so darn stressful? Are we in a bad place, but believe we are in a good place?

Maybe it’s the Canada Post strike this year that’s making your hair fall out. (Waiting on any packages? I am). Or perhaps it’s the endless barrage of emails selling you savings on things you had no idea you needed, filling up your inbox and making it hard to keep track of legitimate emails that need your attention.

Side note: I’m so guilty of this! Last week I missed an important email regarding my daughter’s doctor’s appointment, which ended up with me totally mixing up the dates and messing with my schedule. I pride myself on being a great scheduler, so this was upsetting. Clearly, my mommy’s brain is on the fritz. Also, what happened to a good old-fashioned confirmation phone call?

Right now, there are colds, flu, year-end reports, and deadlines hovering over your head like sugar plumy devils taking up precious space in your mind on top of planning and hosting, and attending holiday parties. Again, sounds like heaven, right? The parties, not the year-end stuff. But it ends up being a lot of work on top of everything that needs taken care of.

So how do you balance all this stuff while remaining calm and relaxed and basically the envy of all your friends for being that super cool chic chick who has it all together?

Some might say, “fake it till you make it” and put on an error of ‘having life sorted out’ during one of the most stressful times of the year. Does the old trick of grinning and bearing it really work these days? Come on now.

I think sharing is caring, so here are some atypical pieces of advice that will help you maintain sanity and serenity from now until this magical holiday season is over, and we can get on with a blessed New Year!

Atypical Holiday Serenity Tips & Tricks

#1 Sharing is Caring

Yes, I’m sharing these tips with you and it would be great if you could share this email with your friends, but I also want you to tell your friends about what’s happening in your life.

When we show and tell stories of challenging times and talk therapy, we reduce our obsession with perfection. Together, you and your friends can laugh at the drama, tell your horror stories, and then relax because now you know you’re not the only one. Sigh of relief anyone? Yes! We are all human and feel and do insane human things.

You know you’re not the only one, but sometimes you need to hear it from another boss babe’s mouth to believe it and feel better about your hot mess moments.

#2 Dance Around in Your Prettiest Underwear…Alone

I’m a huge believer in embracing your feminine energy through movements, like yoga and dance. And while the thought of a lingerie yoga party is seriously enticing, I much prefer the idea of a sexy solo panty party when no one is around. This little rendezvous in the sanctuary of your bedroom, or on your kitchen table, will boost your mood and your confidence a million times over. Why does it alone? Because you can be as silly or sultry as you want without worrying about how you look or what someone is thinking. Who cares! It’s about you and your need to let the beast inside of you roar. And if that beast needs to have a glass of wine at the same time, well, you do you!

#3 Dancers Pose in the Mall

Taking the silliness one step further, do you remember when flash mobs were a thing? They were hilarious and energizing for the people participating and people watching. Where did they go? Into the vault for a resurgence in the next hipster wave, I suppose.

Anyways, back to my point. You can take the concept and do what you will with it. Make a scene, a happy one, and do something unexpected.

We’re all used to a red-faced, burst-of-hot-temper, scene, right? A little smirk on my face as I write that. Yep, that’s been me too before I put my big girl mindfulness panties on.

As the title suggests, you can do some yoga moves near the fountain at the Eaton Centre. Strike a pose while modeling holiday outfits to yourself, and the sales staff, at your favorite boutique. If these seem totally outlandish to you, start small. Smile at the sales staff and ask how they’re doing. Give a random hug to someone who looks like they need it. Take a batch of freshly baked, or bakery-bought, cookies to your neighbor and invite them over for a bevy. Basically, be a 2018 holiday hero and spread some holiday cheer, along with sprinkles and sparkles, because who doesn’t love all things shiny?

#4 Take Five

This one is a typical one, but it’s too good not to include in this year’s Holiday Serenity Guide.

Take five minutes for yourself. Not in front of the tv, not listening to a podcast, not skimming Instagram, and not using a mindfulness app. Seriously, put your phone down.

These five minutes are meant for breathing deeply and giving your mind and body a break from the holiday buzz – buy this, give that, share me, eat this, drink that, watch what you eat, and drink less. Ugh, my head is swimming just thinking of all the mixed messages I get all day every day, especially this time of year.

Taking a few minutes to decompress from all the noise will put your thoughts, actions, and energy back into alignment, where giving, love, family, and magic are truly the center of all of the madness.

Of course, there are the traditional suggestions to help you remain calm and relaxed, like meditating, getting a massage, having a sauna, treating yourself to a facial, eating healthy (or as healthy as possible), exercising regularly (don’t stop working out because it’s the holidays), and so on. But I want to highlight the importance of boosting your mood and changing the way you experience the holidays to prevent the annual meltdown.

By incorporating some of these atypical stress relievers and mood boosters into your regular December routine, you’ll change the way your brain experiences the holidays. I won’t go down the rabbit hole of brain programming science, but trust me, doing the gleefully unexpected and out-of-character will do so much to make this time of year as magical and joyful as it was before adulting became your thing.

Enjoy, be safe, and have fun!

Happy Holidays,

Kara-Lee Burke

Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Reiki Healer, Serenity Coach

Kara-Lee Burke,

Serenity Coach

A certified Ashtanga, Hatha, and Prenatal Yoga Instructor, Advanced Reiki (Energy) Healer, Meditation Teacher, Serenity Coach, and mom to a beautifully spirited daughter. Helping busy and chronically stressed-out empowered people find peace and balance in the throws of chaos has been her passion.

Read Full Bio HERE

#managestress #holidays #stress #VitalityMD